After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional, several states began working on legislation to make sports betting legal. However, Alaska is one of many that have yet to successfully pass such legislation.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy previously attempted to pass legislation to legalize sports betting as a state lottery game, but it was stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually died. State lawmakers have tried recently to legalize sports betting, though these attempts have not yet resulted in anything significant.
Here’s everything you need to know about online sports betting in Alaska, including when it might be legalized, how old you would need to be to bet online, and more.
Recent News and Details About Sports Betting in Alaska
- Sports betting is not legal in Alaska despite a recent attempt by Gov. Mike Dunleavy to legalize it alongside draw games, instant games, and keno.
- As Alaska has no major sports teams and the state’s population is fairly small compared to other states, it’s unlikely that any major sports betting operators would spend the lobbying money necessary to move sports betting legislation forward.
- Alaska is the largest state by land area but has a fairly small population spread across the entire state, so if sports betting is legalized, it would make sense to implement an online sports betting model to make it as accessible as possible.
- Horse racing and horse race betting are not legal in Alaska, meaning advance deposit wagering platforms like BetAmerica, TVG, and TwinSpires are not available in the state.
- While sports betting is off-limits in Alaska, residents can participate in daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests. While DFS apps have not been explicitly made legal, they are able to operate in a legal gray area due to a lack of regulation.
- Alaska Rep. Adam Wool introduced a bill in 2022 to legalize mobile sports wagering, but the bill has not yet been able to gain any traction in the House, making it unlikely that sports betting will be legalized.
- While many residents in states without legal sports betting travel to nearby states to place bets, Alaska’s remote location makes it difficult for its residents to do the same. This makes it slightly more likely that residents would support sports betting legalization.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Alaska? A Timeline
Alaska has yet to legalize sports betting, but lawmakers have made several attempts over the past few years to do so, indicating there is at least some enthusiasm in the state. Here’s a closer look at some of the most significant recent developments in Alaska’s attempts to legalize sports betting.
- February 22, 2022: Rep. Adam Wool introduces HB 385, which would legalize mobile sports betting in Alaska. The bill has yet to make it through the House Labor and Commerce Committee, making it unlikely to pass this year.
- July 9, 2021: The Alaska Department of Revenue commissions a feasibility study to take a close look at the potential for legal gambling in Alaska. This study will examine casinos, sports betting, and a possible state lottery. Gambling is currently limited to tribal casinos in the state.
- February 12, 2020: Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduces legislation SB 188 and HB 246. This legislation would create the Alaska Lottery Corporation to oversee the state lottery. The bill also includes sports betting as a lottery game, but it was unable to progress out of committee in either chamber.
How Do Alaska Residents Feel About Sports Betting?
As there have been no ballot measures regarding sports betting legalization in Alaska, it’s difficult to gauge exactly how residents feel about the activity. However, as the state’s governor and certain state legislators have made attempts to legalize sports betting in the past, it’s likely that their constituents would support legalization.
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling’s National Survey on Gambling Attitudes and Gambling Experiences, 57% of participants from Alaska disagree with the statement that gambling is immoral. Yet only 16% agree, indicating that sports betting legalization would not be a particularly controversial issue. 53% of respondents agreed that if sports betting is legalized in the state, a portion of related revenue should be set aside to pay for public awareness campaigns designed to educate people on problem gambling.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Apps Legal in Alaska?
In states without legal sports betting, DFS apps are very popular, permitting players to utilize their sports knowledge by building fantasy teams and competing against other players in contests for cash and other prizes. As the outcomes of these contests are partially dependent on the player’s sports knowledge, they are often considered to be games of skill. However, some states view them as gambling and ban them under their gambling laws.
In Alaska, DFS apps are neither explicitly legal nor illegal. While several states have passed legislation to legalize and regulate DFS contests, Alaska has yet to introduce any bills regarding this issue. Major platforms like DraftKings and FanDuel can accept contest entries from the state’s residents.
Alaska Sports Betting FAQs
|Is online sports betting legal?||No|
|Is mobile sports betting legal?||No|
|Is betting legal at retail locations?||No|
|Minimum legal gambling age||N/A|
Editor’s Note: Information accurate as of August 2022.